Vegetarian Grocery List: What To Buy, Where And When
Say “NO!” to processed foods
There is a big discussion going on about how vegetarianism and veganism are diets that only the privileged can follow, because they have a high cost. This is hardly the case though, if you do a bit of planning As with any other diet, buying processed foods such as microwave meals, cookies, muffins and sauces will cost you. Such choices will affect not only your wallet, but also your health. Eating a clean, whole foods diet on the other hand will save you money both in grocery and medical bills!
In order to plan your grocery list, you need to first make a rough draft of the things you consume on a daily basis. Keep in mind that you need to get daily 5-6 servings of fruits and vegetables. You also need adequate protein that you can get from legumes, eggs and dairy. So all food groups should be present in your grocery list.
The fresh stuff:
Most of your meal ingredients are probably fresh, if you are following a vegetarian diet, which means that you should shop them once or twice a week. Buying larger quantities of fruits and vegetables usually leads to rotten, wasted produce. That’s both a waste of money and resources.
Lettuce, rocket, cabbages, scallions, fresh herbs, carrots, kale, cucumbers and tomatoes are some excellent salad ingredients and you should always have enough in your fridge to eat two salads a day. Buying them twice a week is a good plan. The same goes for berries, which do not stay fresh for long. Bananas, apples, kiwi, avocados, oranges, clementines, grapes, melons will keep fresh for up to a week, which means that you will need a refill only once per 7 days.
Onions, potatoes, garlic and beets will keep for a long time in a dark cupboard, so buy large quantities, preferably from your farmer’s market. You can usually get a better deal if you buy a lot. It is important to buy organic potatoes, as they are consistently in the “dirty dozen” of pesticide-laden produce.
Buy them dry and in bulk. Canned beans might seem like a cheap and convenient solution, but you will save tons if you just buy them dry and soak them overnight. For the same price you can get almost 4 times more portions. Plus, you do not have to worry about the can additives.
Dairy and eggs:
The idea is to visit an organic farm close to you and see if you feel comfortable with the sanitary and animal treatment conditions there. Many farmers markets also carry eggs and dairy products and a proud producer will be happy to explain to you the details of their products. If that is not an option, do invest in organic produce at your local grocery store. You should not make compromises in the nutritional value of your food, because that can compromise your health. Non-organic dairy and eggs are most of the time loaded with antibiotics and growth hormones, as well as pesticides and insecticides that pass into the animals’ system through the fodder.
Susan is a full-time author and consultant, leading a select team of expert writers and editors, providing online and offline content to an exclusive clientele from around the globe. She is an avid traveler and reader and enjoys writing on health & fitness, travel, parenting, relationships and personal development.